Meal kit delivery services are a great way to save time and stay healthy by having everything you need for a home-cooked meal sent right to your door. But there are a lot of companies to choose from when you’re comparing meal kit options. We’ve reviewed many of them, and Blue Apron and Plated usually at the top of any selection list.
If you want to know which meal kit you should pick, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to break down the main differences between the original meal kit delivery service, Blue Apron, and a strong contender with tons of options, Plated.
Find out about their differences in quality, variety, value, and sustainability so you can make the meal kit choice that is best for you. Make sure you check out the special discounts available for each service, which we’ve included for our readers.
Plated vs Blue Apron
|Meal Kit Service||Plated||Blue Apron|
|Best for||Foodies who like options||Aspiring new chefs|
|Delivery areas||Contiguous US states*||USA|
|Household size||Two (Couple)|
|Price per plate||$9.95 – $11.95||$5 to $10|
|Shipping costs||Free over $60 or $7.95||Free|
|Introductory deal||25% Off First Week||$20 Off on First Order|
*Some areas of Texas are excluded
Recipe Quality / Taste
What good is a meal kit delivered to your door if the food isn’t tasty? Thankfully, neither of these companies have an issue with the deliciousness of their recipes. But which one takes the cake?
Plated’s unique and creative meals are insanely delicious. They do not compromise on quality or flavour. With options like Shiitake Mushroom Risotto with Truffled Burrata and Cipollini Onions and Persian Beef with Brown Rice, Carrots, and Fried Almonds your tastebuds will never be left wanting. They have 20 recipes to choose from, every single week, so you’re always able to find something new and exciting, or enjoy an old favorite.
While these gourmet meals take more time than some of the Blue Apron meals, the time and difficulty ratings are pretty accurate. You can choose meals that are quick and easy or more involved with a tasty pay-off.
While the menu quality and flavour is superb, the execution is not always up-to-par. Being a much younger company than their rival, Blue Apron, fewer warehouses means shipping boxes further and ingredients freshness can suffer.
Blue Apron Quality
Having been around since 2012, Blue Apron has forged a path through the uncharted meal kit delivery frontier. In that time, they’ve seemingly cracked the code on what it takes to consistently provide high-quality, fresh ingredients enmass. They tout this achievement with an uncompromising “Freshness Guarantee”.
When you order from Blue Apron, you know you’re going to receive not only good quality, but also properly balanced meals. Each plate has a protein, vegetable, and carb, expertly crafted for supreme deliciousness. Try the Potato & Chickpea Shakshuka with Sweet Peppers & Feta Cheese or Italian Market-Inspired Orecchiette with Pork Sausage & Fried Sage, for example.
Blue Apron is more focused on teaching than other meal kit service. They make cooking more simple, even on the nights you don’t have a meal kit. In their online marketplace, you can find everything you need to cook their kits or on your own. From kitchen tools to spice mixes, they have it all a click away.
Quality Winner: Blue Apron
It’s hard to beat a freshness guarantee. Thanks to Blue Apron being the OG of meal kit delivery, they seem to have bigger and better systems in place than Plated. These systems help ensure quality and freshness of every kit, no matter where it’s delivered across the USA.
Variety / Flexibility
If variety is the spice of life, then these meal kits are ready to heat things up. But there’s always a winner and in this category it’s clear.
*Spoiler alert,* Plated is known for their variety of options in meal selection and plans. Every week they have 20 meals to choose from, plus two dessert options. That’s right, it’s one of the few meal kit plans that offer an option to add on dessert. Not only that, but you can choose from 2, 3, or 4 serving plans any week, so you never have too much or too little food for your dinner plans.
They have a ton of recipes, and they also cater to a huge variety of dietary considerations. Choose meals crafted for Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Low-calorie, and Low-carb requirements.
Blue Apron Variety
Blue Apron has plenty of meal options to choose from; 8-10 each week. When you’re creating your account, you can also exclude foods you don’t like, such as seafood, and they won’t bore you with seafood dish choices. You can choose from a Standard 2-serving or 4-serving plan, or opt for the 2-serving Weight Watchers or Vegetarian plans on any given week.
However, compared to Plated’s plethora of diet options, Blue Apron seems lacking. You can choose from a few vegetarian options on the 2-person plan, but not on the 4-person and allergy considerations also aren’t part of the platform. If you have food sensitivities, the onus is on you to scour the ingredients of each meal and select what will work.
One thing we love about Blue Apron is the wine delivery option. You can order six bottles monthly. Each recipe comes with a suggested wine pairing. How classy?!
Variety Winner: Plated
When it comes to variety is hard to beat Plated. Even the original meal kit service can’t make the cut. Because of the number and variety of meals and plans, this is somewhere Plated shines and Blue Apron shrinks. You can’t win ‘em all, right?
Delivery / Service Level
The worst case scenario when relying on a meal kit for dinner is that it doesn’t show up or it’s missing ingredients. How do these two services measure up when things go wrong? What is the fine print of their delivery service? Here are your answers:
Shipping is free when you spend more than $60, or and additional $7.95 if you don’t. That means you need to order at least six servings per week, depending on your plan, to avoid extra delivery costs.
One major drawback to the Plated service is the amount of notice you have to give to make any changes to your order. If you don’t submit updates six days prior to your delivery date, you’re out of luck.
Being a younger company than Blue Apron, Plated seems to still be figuring out how to nail reliable delivery and world-class customer service.
Blue Apron Service
From keeping pricing and delivery costs simple to providing video tutorials on their website, Blue Apron really goes above and beyond to provide a pleasant experience for their customers.
Problems are few and far-between. When there’s a missing item or late delivery, their customer service reps are ready and waiting to make things right and keep you satisfied.
Service Winner: Blue Apron
You don’t single-handedly create a new industry by providing poor service. Like many other things in meal kit delivery, Blue Apron literally wrote the book on excellent service and delivery. They go above and beyond to not only send you a meal kit, but provide you an experience. Bravo!
Global food waste statistics are mind-blowing, like this one: Every year, the amount of food wasted by the US and Europe alone could feed the entire world…3x over. Nowhere is the important issue of sustainability more impacted than in the food industry itself. So what are these companies doing to address potential environmental impacts of their products and practices?
Plated partners with sustainable fisheries and sources pork and poultry without antibiotics, along with beef not containing added hormones. They also opt for seasonal ingredients in their meals.
They consider the sustainability of their packaging, too. Boxes are either lined with compostable brown jute or recycled blue denim insulation. That’s an extra expense that Plated commits to in pursuit of sustainability. Kudos!
Blue Apron Sustainability
Blue Apron chooses to responsibly source quality ingredients and sustainable seafood for all their meal kits. And we love that the ingredients are perfectly portioned, helping to minimize any food waste.
But, like most other meal kits, including Plated, there is excessive packaging. The packaging is mostly recyclable and Blue Apron has a section of their website providing recycling ideas and options. But, it’s on you to save the planet from the mountain of included plastics.
Sustainability Winner: Plated
We’re no Al Gore, but Plated seems to have put a little more thought into the environmental impact of what they’re doing. It’s a close call, but we’re leaning to the little guy on this one.
Value for Price
More than just cost goes into your decision of which meal kit delivery company to choose. We’ve reviewed what Plated and Blue Apron offer, so to make the final call, let’s look at the numbers:
There are two different costs per serving in this plan: $11.95 for two servings per night and $9.95 for three of four servings. If you’re only feeding two, you’ll pay a premium for your same meal. And if you only want two or three servings twice a week, you’ll pay extra for shipping. Not cool, Plated!
Here’s how the costs break down:
Blue Apron Value
Blue Apron keeps meal costs as simple as possible. It’s always $9.99 per serving, no matter how many or few you order in a week. You can also add wine; 6 bottles for $65.99 a month.
Here’s how that breaks down:
|Blue Apron Costs||2-serving plans||The 4-serving plan|
Value Winner: Blue Apron
It’s less expensive and much more straightforward than Plated. How can you beat that?
Plated vs Blue Apron: Which Meal Kit Is the Best?
Both Plated and Blue Apron are great picks for meal kit delivery, but we’re here to name a winner! Based on quality, variety, service, sustainability, and overall value, one company is the leader: Blue Apron. We love that they make cooking at home simple and affordable for everyone. They even have extras like wine delivery and a marketplace.
While Blue Apron is the overall winner on our grading scale, there are tons of amazing meal kit delivery services out there that are best for different needs. Blue Apron is best for someone who wants reliability and to learn more about cooking. However, Plated is the pick for adventurous foodies who want options.
Give Blue Apron a try and get $20 off your first order! Or size up Plated with 25% off.
What do you think of Plated and Blue Apron? Leave your review and comments below.